Top 20 Cities with Billions at Risk from Climate Change

By Eric Roston - 2012-07-06T03:32:54Z

Photograph by Adam Ferguson/VII

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#6 Mumbai, India

<strong>2005 assets at risk:</strong> $46.2 billion
<strong>2070 est. assets at risk:</strong> $1.6 trillion
<strong>2005 population at risk:</strong> 2.8 million
<strong>2070 est. population at risk: </strong>11.4 million

Mumbai, with an average elevation of just 46 feet above sea level, rose from a fishing village to become India's commercial and entertainment capital. Monsoon rains overwhelm its century-old drainage system every year. Almost all drains open out to the ocean and a lack of floodgates means seawater can flow in during high tide. Low-lying pockets of the city get waterlogged, paralyzing trains and traffic and shutting down schools and businesses. The city suffers losses of 15.5 billion rupees ($280 million) per year from flooding, according to a 2007 government estimate.

A 20-year effort to de-silt, widen and deepen waterways, build retaining walls and add pump stations and floodgates is about 50 percent done and may be completed within the next few years, according to a top city engineer.

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